A summary of what and why – here’s the full story.
Hello! I’m Zoe, and this is Falco. In June 2022 we set off to walk from our home city of Oxford to Loch Lomond in Scotland, where the woman who created the Stop Ecocide campaign, Polly Higgins QC, grew up. We (well, me mostly) have been crowdfunding for our costs.
Polly had a vision to advance a law to protect the Earth – an amendment to the Rome Statute to include ecocide (“killing the environment”) alongside crimes like genocide. If passed, this law would protect ecosystems anywhere in the world from large scale damage or destruction. It would be a steer for business, industry and government funding away from what destroys the living world, and towards what restores and protects it.
Since then, the concept of an ecocide law has gained support and interest from individuals and organisations all over the world, from Pope Francis to Greta Thunberg. In November 2022 a diverse panel of top international lawyers , legal experts and indigenous leaders began the process of drafting a legal definition of ecocide. In June they completed it. It defined ecocide as “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or longterm damage being caused by those acts.”
On our Walk for Earth, Falco and I will raise funds for Stop Ecocide International while also helping to raise awareness about ecocide law, and some the ideas that spin off from it, through conversations along the route. We’ve so far stopped to raise awareness at two schools in England and Scotland, and we’ll be making a few more stops on our return journey.
Through Walk for Earth’s textile project ‘Interwoven’ we’re inviting weavers, spinners and plant-dyers (and in some cases the local groups they work with) along our route, to create sections of a woven textile piece. So far six loom weavers, spinners and dyers are involved, and we’re aiming for a total of 18. It’s a way for craftspeople to express creatively their care for the living world where they are, using materials that are sourced as locally and sustainably as possible. The finished piece is intended to be a gift of recognition to Vanuatu, in the South Pacific Ocean. They took an international lead in December 2021 by proposing serious consideration of ecocide law at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
I’m also inviting anyone, anywhere to join in Walk for Earth and raise their voice in support of ecocide law by doing their own walk wherever they’re based. That includes you! See ‘How to Join Walk for Earth’ for guidance.
I’ve wanted to do this walk for many years; you can read about the journey to get to this point in my post ‘Walk for Earth – the first steps’. Falco is a fairly recent arrival; he’s been changing my life while looking nonchalant since November 2019.
I couldn’t have got this far without the valiant and consistent support of mule (and horse) aficionados Sari Maydew and Ben Moxon and equine trainer Ellen Cochrane, as well as donkey-travel writers Adam Lee and Hannah Engelkampf, who generously opened the door to their worlds, and kept it ajar when I needed them. Many other people have also helped with their generosity and time, and you can read about them in my posts. The Stop Ecocide team in Stroud rallied around what was more of a hope than a reality back in January 2020, and gave it wings. Thank you also to the people who welcomed me to their field and gave Falco a home in the city of dreaming spires.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading my blog, and I’d really appreciate you supporting my crowdfunder if you can. There are also quick and easy ways to support the Stop Ecocide campaign, like becoming an Earth Protector yourself.
Thank you from Falco and me – and who knows, maybe we’ll see you out there!